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shallow nature selfies can lead to (Syme). However, even Essena had the power to realize that selfies are more than just fabricated images of what individuals want to see, but vital tools that can be used to help share thoughts and ideas to a large audience. O’Neill effectively used pathos surrounding her negative experiences with selfie taking in order to connect to her followers and express that even though selfies have the potential to be used for destructive purposes, they have positive and progressive purposes as well. I personally feel that this negative energy around selfies stems from a lack of understanding between generations. There have been numerous times when my mother has told me to stop taking pictures of myself on Snapchat because “You should be sick of looking at my face by now”, or to get off of Instagram or Facebook and do something more productive. My mom dismisses the culture I grew up in and deems it as shallowand less valuable than it actually is. This cultural divide is not something we can prevent as
Gareau 5change is inevitable; however, this divide could be less prevalent if individuals from older generations took the time to see selfies from the perspective of individuals from younger generations. Selfies are expressive and provide me with opportunities to connect with individuals I wouldn’t normally have the chance to. Just because previous generations didn’t have these same opportunities doesn’t warrant them to sign off selfies as a bad idea, rather, they should strive to see the potential that selfies have to offer to our society and the individuals within it. However, this generational divide connects back to the question at hand – are selfies necessary in order to understand oneself? Previous generations did not grow up with the ability to take selfies yet still were able to find self-acceptance and love; therefore, it is understandable why they have their doubts on the true power of a selfie. One might glance at the question and quickly conclude that selfies are not necessary in order to understand oneself, although reflect fora moment. There is a reason for a growth in the popularity and prevalence of selfies within our society. Why would something so meaningless have such great power? Syme feels that “everyone who posts a selfie mustbe getting something out of it, something so life-affirming thatit makes the harshness endurable” (Syme). Whether it be the love and support from other individuals, the freedom to express yourself to the public, or the gratification in documenting a moment from your life, something comes out of posting a selfie. Selfies force you to look at yourself and reflect on what you see. Often times it’s seen as vain to bask in your own beauty or spend time truly looking at yourself and analyzing what you see. Selfies have given us a means to look at ourselves without the negative stigma around being full of yourself. You can experiment with different angles, lighting, filters, backgrounds, styles, facial expressions and the list continues. What seems like a mere moment of tapping the screen while you flash your pearly